Dim the lights, pass the popcorn, and don’t worry about your mini movie buff disturbing the show! These Portland-area theaters make movie-going a fun outing instead of a major production, thanks to crazy cheap ticket prices, family-friendly matinee times, and quality kid food. One silver screen hotspot even offers in-house babysitting services–just in case you need a little cinema solo time.
photo: Peter Merholz via Flickr CC
Aptly named for a movie house, Hollywood Theater offers up lots of cinematic family fun. Their Family Pictures monthly series offers weekend afternoon showings of films that are perfect for kiddos. (Think: Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang and Teen Wolf.) Tickets for the Family Pictures series are just $6/general admission and $3/kids 12 and under.
4122 NE Sandy Blvd.
photo: Michael S via Flickr CC
The Academy Theater
Babysitting and a play loft? Yes, it’s true. The Academy Theater is the best kid-friendly movie theater in Portland because it makes parents’ lives so much easier when it comes to movie-going. The theater goes one step beyond mommy matinees by offering to babysit your child in their play loft while you catch a flick and unwind.
The Academy also offers double-feature Mondays, wherein kids can see two films for $6 ($4/adult) and Two for Tuesdays (buy one ticket, get one free for the same show). Bonus: This theater is beautiful to behold and serves up yummy food, including Flying Pie pizza by the slice, Nathan’s hot dogs and Miyamoto sushi.
Babysitting is offered on Fridays between 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and for all shows before 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Babysitting is by reservation only – no drop-ins – and costs $9.50 per child, ages 2-8 years for the length of the film. Save time by filling out the babysitting release form before you arrive.
7818 SE Stark St.
photo: McMenamins Facebook page
McMenamins Kennedy School
From Tues. – Thurs., this former school auditorium offers Mommy Matinees (for the first showing of the day) where even the fussiest of babies are welcome. There’s plenty of room to roll in your over-stuffed stroller, as well as space for all of your baby gear on their comfy couches. Tickets are cheap, cheap, cheap at just $4/adults; $2/kids 11 and under; free for kids 2 and under. Don’t forget to take your swimsuits and towels, too, for the heated soaking pool afterwards. Kids are allowed before 6 p.m.
5736 N.E. 33rd Ave.
photo: romdos via Flickr CC
Here, children under 12 can catch a kid’s matinee for the bargain basement price of just $2 (adult tickets are $4). As a huge bonus, unlike the big theaters, you won’t have to sit through a half hour of previews – more like, five minutes of previews, and there are no commercials shown before the film. Score! Check the theater’s schedule ahead of time to make sure a kid’s show is playing on the day you want to catch a flick.
photo: Jennifer S. via Yelp
Locals love the Family Matinees at this theater, and all shows at all times for all ages are the bargain price of $4.75/person. They’re also worthy of your next kid-free date night (after 8 p.m. no one under 21 is allowed). It’s the best of both worlds – family friendly during the day and grown-up friendly after the kids go to bed. Keep in mind: Valley Theater is a cash-only establishment.
9360 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.
What’s your favorite theater in town? Let us know in the Comments below!
– Suzie Ridgway